Posted by: vlbyers | December 5, 2009

Mazatlan-mainland Mexico

We had a wonderful sail across the sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. The forecast had been for light winds mostly 5-10 range and very calm seas, also there was a front coming in expected on Monday. Our desire to miss the 30 knot winds coupled with meeting our friend who was expected in on Wednesday helped us to make the decision to leave even though we thought we might motor most of the way.
As we left La Paz in the early light of morning there was only a slight breeze and the seas were flat calm. We buddy boated over with our friends from Lady J, Steve and Rita, it is nice to have someone to chat with and go over our navigation plans. Within the first hour out we revved up the motor to our normal cruising speed we heard some unusual sounds comming from the engine/prop? so we took it out of gear, put it in reverse, revved it in reverse-tried to go forward again and the noise stopped. In the meantime all sorts of horrible thoughts ran through our (Larry’s head)including envisioning the prop falling off and sinking to the bottom of the sea. We think there may have been some gunk (that is the technical term) on the prop and it came off with the reversing of the gears. Well having our buddy boat nearby was a comfort even though it all turned out OK.
Early in the day Larry caught another fish-a dorado! I don’t think I will ever get tired of fish, I am looking for some interesting ways to prepare it though:) It wasn’t as big as the other ones he had caught but he made for a tasty meal that night.
We knew this was going to be about a 44 hour passage and although we expected it to be calm I took seasick medication beginning the night before and every 12 hours. I have had so much helpful? input as to what might work but I have decided that if I am taking medication I will stick with only one to give it a fair chance. I am combining it with lots of water, little caffeine, good food and ginger, also staying out of the cabin for long periods unless I am sleeping. Since I love to cook and I take pride in making nutritious food for my crew some adjustments are going to have to be made. This time I did make a great meal (if I do say so myself) but I did it with smaller chunks of time spent in the galley interspersed with time out in the cockpit. The warm weather sure makes it more enjoyable to sit outside for long periods of time as opposed to layers upon layers just to stay warm and dry! Anyway, I am happy to announce that I did not have one moment of queasyness on this passage.
We motored throught the Canal de San Lorenzo which is between the mainland and Isla Del Espiritu Santo and at times there were only 24 feet under the keel-since there are known rocks and wrecks in this channel and markers, GPS and charts all showed differences this was a little tense. We made it through without any problems and motored through the Canal Cerralvo which is between the mainland and Isla Cerralvo which got us to a southern latitude so we would have the possibility to sail if the wind continued out of the north as forecasted. After 10 hours of motoring we were able to put up the sails with about 8-10 knots of wind on a port tack with the wind just off the nose. The winds increased during the day as did the waves and by the first evening we had 12-16 with very occasional gusts to 20, of course the waves were also 4-6 feet for a time which was more than we planned on. Great sailing overall and we were making good headway toward Mazatlan!! That never happens, in fact we recalculated our arrival time to be 0300 and since we didn’t want to make landfall in the dark we reduced sail.
These are the clouds that brought us the rain squalls during the second day-we haven’t seen rain this hard since Alabama during the August thunderstorms. The boat was thoroughly cleaned and we were drenched. One of the biggest squalls was on my watch and the boys took advantage of the cover of the cabin and left me to fend for myself. Being on our ‘schedule’ we wern’t able to stop at the islands as we would have liked but after going South we will head up this way again and take time to see some of these spectacular areas out.
Mazatlan Marina is very modern and well kept up with all the comforts of home, hot showers, bathrooms along with several restaurants, an extensive book loaning library and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there are even line dancing lessons.

Christmas is just around the corner in this part of the world as well and it has been fun to see all the decorations around town as well as on the other boats. I got into the mood and bought some lights for our boat-sure does help with my holiday spirit. There are many large grocery type stores and also some Fred Meyer type one stop shops and various modern malls. It is fun to hear the english Christmas music being played while we are doing our shopping-Mexico has come a long way since the 70’s.

Our friend Tom is here spending some time visiting us and the city of Mazatlan. There is so much to see and do here, last night we went on an art walk where the artists open up their homes to show off their artwork. It was in the historic district which is a quiet and quaint area, architecture which is interesting and main plazas where families gather at night, being a Friday night the place was full of activity long into the night. After the art walk we stopped for food and refreshments at a restaurant which has an open mike, Larry took advantage of this to get on stage and play guitar and sing with the band. There hasn’t been enough wind to sail but we are hoping to get at least one time out on the water while Tom is here.
Andrew is having success with his spanish, he devotes time every day to study and it is paying off. He is feeling very good about being able to communicate with friends he has made and getting around town is so much easier when you attempt to speak spanish. The spanish people are visibly pleased even at our feeble attempts to talk in their native language, we are all learning more and our confidence builds daily.
A few more days here and then we start heading south. We will be stopping at Isla Isabella and San Blas prior to arriving in Bahia de Banderas, where Puerta Vallarta is located.
that’s all folks, Vicki

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